For the Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory “focus on the win, the victory – that moment of glory and pride you’ll remember forever.”


2011: a life changing experience for me

I didn’t squawk when the opportunity arose to go on a girls-only, weekend long riding trip. But I couldn’t prevent the self-doubt from seeping in the week before I set out to leave. You see, whenever I was working with my horse, my hubby was always there, in the background, cheering me on. He was the one who would push me forward. He would give me a thumbs up, or a smile, when I was doing well.  He would pat my back and gently shake my shoulders until my eyes met his and say “I know you can do it” or “See, I knew you could do it!”  His confidence in me was unwavering, and I doubted that I would be a success without him.

Let me back track a bit; there are some things you have to understand first.

  1. I didn’t grow up with horses. I didn’t know squat about them. I knew that they had four legs, were pretty and that people could ride them (people can ride anything, if you know how to ride! I did not know how to ride!) I purchased my first horse eight years ago, because I was a child once, a child that had wanted a pony. Let me tell you, it wasn’t just a steep learning curve; it was more like a plummet straight down with a laborious, and painful, crawl forward. Inch by bloody inch.

  2. Mybaby has always had a bag of tricks up her sleeve. She is sneaky, and will get you the second you let your guard down. Right around this time, she was practicing the art of lying down, while I was riding her. Trust me, it was real fun.
  3. Mybaby loves water! And she does not discriminate against size! It could be a lake, a wide stream, or free standing water in a field after a heavy rain. If it makes a splish-splash sound, it is like a signal to her brain to have a bath. Also real fun, especially in the fall, when it is cold.

The weekend was nothing less than spectacular. By the third day, my apprehension had lifted and I was feeling incredibly relaxed. When we came up to the small ravine, I thought “we got this.” I brought my feet up higher to prevent them from being dragged in the mud and gave her a bit more rein.  Her first step pitched me forward (it was quite deep) and I put my hands onto the saddle horn for stability. I looked up as her hind end came down into the water. Our eyes connected and I knew! I saw that mischievous glint! I opened my mouth to say “Don`t you dare…“ but she just smiled at me, and rolled to the left, effectively dunking me into the water.

This wasn’t just water; it was very muddy and mucky water. So mucky, in fact, that my boots sunk and became lodged into the ground. I had to simultaneously pull on them with my fingers, and heave up with my legs, so I wouldn’t lose my precious leather boots to the murky waters beneath me.

Now I know my horse was feeling pretty victorious at that moment. I could see the pleasure in her eye as I sat on the ground and began to remove the clumps of mud from my boots. But nothing, nothing, will ever compare to the glory I felt when I realized that one of my lifelong dreams had finally become a reality.